By Stefaan Ghijs

I began a search for “the perfect” Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza in the latter part of 2021. After searching far and wide in the United States, I came across a possible candidate aircraft listed for sale by FA Aircraft Sales in Antwerp, Belgium. I made arrangements with the broker to travel to Belgium and view the aircraft. After a transatlantic flight to Amsterdam followed by a high speed train ride to Antwerp I was met at the rail station by Vincent Wigmans, founder of FA Aircraft Sales. Vincent drove me to his office at the Antwerp airport while answering my many questions and getting aquatinted. On arrival I was offered fresh coffee and made comfortable as Vincent and his colleagues made security arrangements to allow my access inside the airport to view the A-36 he was representing. I was given unlimited access to the hangered aircraft and its records. I was delighted to find the aircraft in excellent condition for its age and had been well represented by Vincent.

I wanted this airplane! But so many issues to overcome. A pre-purchase inspection would need to be accomplished to my satisfaction, but I didn’t speak the language and don’t know a soul in Belgium. I would need to find a qualified ferry pilot to bring my new baby across the North Atlantic Ocean in the winter with no tip or ferry tanks. Would need to source insurance for the ferry flight, etc., etc.

As I closed up the cowl after my cursory inspection, I laid out all my fears about buying this airplane to Mr Wigmans. Vincent assured me that his company exported aircraft all over the world and was well connected to aircraft ferry companies, as well as quality local aircraft maintenance shops, aircraft insurance brokers and the like, and would assist me in getting my Beech safely back to Florida. We seemed to have established a relationship in our short time together. I made an offer on the airplane, and a deal was brokered.

True to his word, Vincent went to work locating a qualified ferry pilot to bring my new purchase home. He also coordinated a pre-purchase inspection at a quality shop on the field and aided finding the most reasonable insurance possible for the ferry flight. Other issues popped up along the way, each time Vincent worked diligently on my behalf to clear things up.

My 1984 Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza arrived at my hanger home at the Spruce Creek Fly-In community in Port Orange, Florida on January 7, 2022 in perfect condition. The pilot selected to ferry the airplane did such a fine job and was such a pleasure to be around my wife and I had him stay with us for 4 additional days.

I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Vincent and FA Aircraft Sales. He made the entire process of buying an airplane in Europe and it getting back to the United States as easy and as comfortable for me as possible. AND, during our conversations we discovered we both are fond of our dogs. When my Bonanza pulled up on the ramp at my house, I opened the back door and found a packages of dog treats sent by Vincent to my dogs Elsa and Izzy across the Atlantic Ocean, all the way from Belgium.

William P. Maxwell | Owner Beechcraft A-36 Bonanza N7255S